Anticipation is at its peak for The Dark Knight Rises, opening later this week. In fact, I'd say that expectations are so high that there's no way the movie could possibly live up to them. The first wave of positive reviews are encouraging, but I hope that none of that comes from a place of the reviewers WANTING this film to be so good that they're bending over backwards to be fair to it.
But this got me thinking about major let-downs in the past. I think the biggest letdown in recent memory was Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I went in willing to accept that it wouldn't be as good as Raiders or Last Crusade, but I hoped they'd at least reach the quality of Temple of Doom.
Unfortunately, the film proved you can't go home again. From moment one, Ford's performance felt off, too gruff, too "get off my lawn." The warehouse chase was decent, and the Harvard action sequence was good enough that I almost convinced myself that this could be a decent movie. Yes, there was the "nuking the fridge" scene, but I didn't find that much more abusive of real-world logic than the idea that would could bail out of a plane in a life rafts and survive a several thousand foot fall.
Then came the fact that Indy and his annoying-sidekick-who-is-clearly-his-son found the skull barely a half-hour into the film. That worried me. Marion's return felt clumsy, and her confirming Mutt's parentage also felt like a fumble in the execution. But on a first viewing, my denial was still strong enough.
Then came the monkey army. And that was when I knew there was no saving this film. Little did I realize the film still had further to fall.
So what are your biggest letdowns?
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